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Pelvic Floor Recovery Post Pregnancy

The time immediately after your baby arrives, or "postpartum period" is a critical time to protect, repair and strengthen the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are critical for restoring abdominal and trunk muscle length and function; and their recovery is easily overlooked whilst keeping up with the demands of a newborn

Here are a few tips to get you started postpartum:

    Pelvic Floor Exercises

    After an uncomplicated vaginal delivery, start gently 24hours post as the muscular contractions help squeeze excess fluid from the muscles and shorten the muscles back to their former position. To start, lie on your back with both knees bent, breath out and slowly lift the uretha, vagina and anus. Hold for 5 seconds, continuing to breath, then relax for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times or more. Over the next few weeks repeat 10times, 3 times a day and increase the strength of the lift.

    Here at the Physio Space we run pilates and post natal recovery classes at the clinic which are specifically tailored for focus on strengthening and restoring pelvic floor health, muscle control and confidence post partum.

    Posture

    Stand and walk tall to help switch on low level endurance in the pelvic floor and core, and help abdominal muscles shorten back to their original length. Avoid slouch sitting – something to watch when breastfeeding.

    Rest

    Lying down to feed your baby is a good time to rest and take the load off your pelvic floor.

    Wear a Supportive Garment

    These help to compress the abdomen and internal organs, improve posture, support the scar or tear site, and protect your pelvis from strain. An example is the SRC Compression Shorts.

    Ice

    Apply ice over any perineal swelling or stitches for 5-10mins ever 2-3 hours for 48hours. This will assist with swelling and pain management.

    Lifting

    Avoid any heavy lifting, shopping or housework for the first 6 weeks. This will give your body time to heal and strengthen without causing any further damage.

     

    Keep Stools Soft

    Include soluble fibre, such as fruit, vegetables and whole grains, in your diet as well as drink plenty of water (especially if breast feeding). Straining to empty the bowel is likely to damage the pelvic floor muscles and vaginal support. If you had a vaginal delivery, wrap toilet paper around your hand and give support over the vaginal area as the bowel opens to prevent vaginal strain. If you underwent a c-section, support your scar by applying pressure with a hand towel over the scar site when going to the toilet.

It is important to seek treatment post delivery for any of the following symptoms:

  • Diastasis rectus (abdominal muscle separation)
  • Pelvic, abdominal, groin or back pain
  • Urine leaking, urgency or loss of bladder sensation
  • Constipation, haemorrhoids or pain with emptying
  • Infection in tears or scars
  • Sexual pain
  • Vaginal heaviness or a ‘falling out’ sensation
  • Poor wind or stool control

A Women’s Health Physiotherapy Assessment may be performed once bleeding has ceased, usually between 2-6weeks post partum. It is also recommended to discuss any symptoms with your GP or obstetrician.

Women’s Health Physiotherapy services are now offered at The Physio Space Clinic including one on one consultation, group pilates and post natal recovery classes. Our classed are specifically tailored to the postnatal recovery period from 6 weeks after delivery, and aim to help women restore pelvic floor health and control, pelvic and core strength and stability; and guided return to exercise and activity.

For more information please don’t hesitate to contact us on 48611223 for more details. Assessments with our Women's Health Physio Sophie can be booked via our website. Bookings for Term 4 classes are now being taken.

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